Timing is everything in politics, and the recent terrorist attacks in Boston need to be considered when Congress makes its important immigration decision this year. The immigration issue has gained major momentum and it seems both parties are on board with amnestying a large number of illegal immigrants while revamping United States immigration policies. While the majority of the discussion has been around Mexican immigration, the events surrounding the recent attack are extremely concerning and require additional scrutiny.
As the Tsarnaev story unfolds its becoming quite apparent that it could have very well been prevented. The older brother, Tamerlan, was on the radar of both the FBI and Russian intelligence for quite some time. The Russians had him on wiretap making dangerous statements, the FBI was aware of him and had interviewed him, and if not for a clerical error the FBI should have known he spent six months in Russia. This situation may not reach full-blown scandal proportions but it’s becoming apparent that there was some level of failure by US intelligence.
The Boston terrorist attack is a stark reminder of the reality of Islamic terrorism. Since the beginning of the War on Terror we’ve set our sights on Al Qaeda in the belief that if we cripple their organization we will cripple the threat of terror in the United States. Although we’ve been effective by most accounts in minimizing the major terrorist organizations, the Tsarnaev example is indicative of a larger Islamic terror threat that doesn’t fit into the convenient narratives our leaders and media have crafted. The recent tragedy demands an investigation on how we manage our immigration policies. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was under investigation by the FBI and had been arrested in the past for violent assault. His record and the fact that the FBI had a dossier on him clearly warranted potential deportation, rather than citizenship.
So what is the answer? The concept of “profiling” is an extremely dangerous word in US Politics, but the fact is our law enforcement agencies profile all the time, and in the case of violent non-US Citizens they have every right to profile. Tamerlan Tsarnaev clearly fit the profile of a potentially dangerous individual, as indicated in multiple warnings from Russian intelligence. There was a disconnect, and the threat of Tsarnaev was not taken seriously.
As the story evolves we’ll likely learn more on why the threat of Tsarnaev was dismissed and whether it was a mistake by US intelligence or they simply didn’t believe he was truly a threat to attempt mass murder. Perhaps the FBI simply didn’t believe that Tsarnaev, even with the warnings, would ever act on his anti-Western beliefs. He didn’t “fit the profile,” as was made abundantly clear by the majority of terrorist “experts” the various news channels employ to analyze such situations. That “profile” has changed now, and the US truly needs to take the threat of larger Islamic terrorism seriously. There is a very good chance that the network is larger than the two brothers. A simple look at the videos that Tamerlan Tsarnaev posetd on YouTube show a man following an organization with anti-Western and anti-US beliefs.
When Congress decides the direction of immigration policy in this country they must not lose sight of the Tsarnaev situation. In creating opportunities for full citizenship and for others to realize the American Dream we must take into consideration that not everyone is fit to be an American or wants to be a positive member of American society. It’s a tricky thing, with no better example being the Tsarnaev family. The uncle who became famous for calling his nephews “losers” is a prime example of someone who valued the US opportunity and has built success for himself.
The brothers and their mother are an example of the complete opposite, a small family group that came to the United States, used our welfare system and opportunities, but eventually grew discontent and developed anti-American tendencies. In overhauling immigration we must be assiduous. It’s up to our politicians to craft a policy that both accept those who will contribute positively to the United States and has a safeguard against those who are here to do us harm.